British cattle breeding will be represented at a leading overseas show for the first time this weekend when a privately-organised group of eight Holsteins line up as Team GB at the European Championships in Fribourg, Switzerland.
With the stated aim of helping to raise the profile of Britain within the global cattle genetics industry, Ben Yates of Wyndford Holsteins, Mark Nutsford of Riverdane Holsteins and Isaac Lancaster of I-Cow Holsteins have embraced what is a significant logistical challenge.
Mr Yates says: “We are in uncharted waters with this project, but we all feel the efforts will be worthwhile if we can help put British Holstein breeding on the map.
“We excel in this country, both in the quality of our dairy cattle and in our management systems, and this is a great opportunity to reinforce the message. We aim to do British cattle breeding proud and prove to the world Britain is the place to come when considering future investments in genetics.”
Mr Yates is herd manager for Wilfred Maddocks, Chadwell Grange, Newport, Shropshire. Over the last eight years, he has helped develop Wyndford Holsteins which provides the only red member of Team GB. Two-year-old Wyndford Roseman Rebecca Red 44 VG86 (pictured) was reserve champion red and white at the 2012 UK Dairy Expo.
He says: “The Rebeccas are one of our strongest cow families, renowned for their balance of really strong production and great type. This particular cow is by Sterndale Roseman Red, then a sample sire on the Cogent’s Visions young bull testing programme. She exhibits the ideal balance we are looking for with super legs and feet and a really good udder.”
Team GB is receiving sponsorship from Diamond Genetics, Cogent, Holstein UK and CIS, among other industry organisations.
Cogent’s Andy Smith says this undertaking by Team GB to fly the flag at the European Championships is ‘extremely valuable and very important’.
Mr Smith says: “There are a lot of outstanding cows in many very good herds in this country, and it is a great step forward for a team to be representing the British Holstein industry. Hopefully their efforts will show what can be done and this will be the start of a greater marketing effort for British genetics in the future.”
Also in the Team GB line-up for Switzerland is the EX92 third calver Lavenham Adeen from Riverdane owned with Holmland and Carldanton Holsteins. The Durham daughter recently took the Holstein championship at AgriScot.
Joining her are stable mates Riverdane Woelkchen 8, an EX92 third calver by Cento owned with Ponderosa and I-Cow Holsteins, which has had successful outings at both AgriScot and the UK Dairy Expo, and a recently acquired Bolton second calver, Washfold Monica 117, which is making her show debut.
Last year’s AgriScot reserve Super Heifer, Cheshire Show champion and Great Yorkshire reserve champion heifer Riverdane Talented Ashlyn, owned with Sterndale Holsteins, is also in the team. Completing the Riverdane string is the daughter of Royal Show champion Hendomen Arlene EX93, two-year-old Riverdane Gold Angel VG87.
Alongside Wyndford Roseman Rebecca Red 44 is another young second calver Wyndford Goldwyn Melody 1 from Wilfred Maddocks. Her former stable mate Wyndford Knowledge Torch 55 (now owned by I-Cow Holsteins) completes the GB team.
Source: Farmers Guardian